I have written a piece with a string section. Initially I had in mind more than 1 violin but I'd like to know how hard it would be for a single player. Violin part

2 Answers 2


Each individual double stop is simple on its own, but the issue you have is that you transition from an interval less than a fifth, to a fifth, to an interval greater than a fifth (and back again). This requires shifting which fingers are on which strings, which will require a bit of separation. If that's okay, then this is perfectly playable.

In more detail: For the E-A double stop, you would play in 3rd position, with the index (1st) finger on the E (highest) string and the middle (2nd) finger on the A (2nd highest) string. Then for E-B, you would slide up to 4th position, with the 1st finger one the A string and the 2nd finger on the E string. Note that the fingers switched. Then for E-C you would just move the 2nd finger up one note on the E string, so that's easy.

  • 1
    Cellist here: from your description, that fingering sequence doesn't sound particularly difficult to execute. Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 13:17
  • Right, it's not hard, but it will interrupt the sound briefly.
    – MattPutnam
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 19:14
  • so, playable but a smoother effect might be achieved with two violins (also a cellist here, double stops are the bane of me lol)
    – kat
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 3:22

Are these double stops playable on violin?

Very much so. There is nothing difficult in what you have written. Double stops have to be played on adjacent strings so the further apart the notes the more difficult it gets. Tenths are very difficult and the limit for most players.

  • 1
    Well, the physical spacing decreases as you move towards the bridge, so sometimes it's worth shifting down a string & playing the double stop "way up there" Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 13:18

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